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President Bush proposes HSAs scheme for the benefit of both the workers and the country

President Bush in his State of the Union address encouraged Americans to open health savings accounts (HSAs). He said that it would help to fight the nation's out-of-control medical costs. It was // well received by many lawmakers. But the local employers say that HSAs are the means by which the doctors cure the country's health finance ills.

Gary Laugharn, regional client leader in Houston for Hewitt Associates said that HSA model creates obstacles to companies who are trying to use it in a meaningful way.

He said that its major drawback is that workers have an aversion to high-deductible health insurance policies, which by law must be coupled with the savings accounts.

Brett Haugh, a principal at Houston-based Employee Benefit Solutions, said that in a local employer survey it was seen that only 8 of the 137 respondents offered their workers health savings accounts. And recently in Houston, interest in HSAs is begun all this results in the aversion for HSA plans by the employees.

HSAs were created in 2003 as tax-sheltered savings accounts that employees can take with them when they change jobs. According to the law, the accounts must be paired with health insurance plans which carry high deductibles in the order of $1,050 for an individual and $2,100 for a family but has a lower monthly premium.

But there is a limit on the investment in the accounts each year. Contributions are limited to $2,700 for individuals and $5,450 for families.

The money has to be spent only on medical care. HSAs can be rolled over but if the new employer doesn't offer a required high-deductible health plan, then the worker has to discontinue his contribution to the savings account. But the worker can either spend or save money from the account.

Bush and other advocates of HSAs feel that this would reduce the health care costs as people are more likely to spend less money on medical care and are wiser about their treat
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